The purpose of the administrative practicum is to enhance the part-time student's understanding of the operations and administration of an organization from the perspective of executive management. During the practicum, students gain firsthand knowledge of the operational, administrative and strategic issues of concern to senior management. Because the practicum coincides with their current job responsibilities, student are able to quickly apply the theories, concepts, principles and skills learned in the didactic portion of their graduate education within their own organizations. Their on-the-job learning is done under the guidance of a faculty advisor and a preceptor, who is a member of the executive management team.
In addition, the practicum provides students with the opportunity to identify their managerial competencies, enhance their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Students learn about themselves, their organizations, senior management and career options in health care administration. Maximum benefit and professional growth are achieved when students view the administrative practicum as an opportunity to learn and apply new management skills and techniques to their present work environments.
The practicum starts at the beginning of the second year, concurrent with coursework. The average length of the practicum is two years.
Types of practicum sites include:
- Hospitals/medical centers
- Medical group practices
- Rehabilitation centers
- Health maintenance organizations
- Preferred provider organizations
- Insurance companies
- Home health care organizations
Sample preceptor positions include:
- Executive vice president/COO
- General manager
- Senior vice president
- Chief financial officer
- Managing director
- Medical director
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Health care consulting firms